Footwear was invented for protecting our feet. However, it has now become one of an essential fashion accessories. Made of a variety of materials like leather, plastic, rubber, fabrics, wood, jute, and metal- it can rightly be said the garment of our feet. Shoes are only one of the many categories of footwear that includes sandals, boots, slippers, and many others.
If you look at your shoe, you can see that it has many parts- sole, insole, outsole, midsole, heel, and an upper part that is called vamp or simply upper. These parts can be easily identified. The exterior bottom part of a shoe is the sole. The interior bottom of a shoe, directly beneath the foot, is its insole. The layer of the shoe that comes in direct contact with the ground is its outsole. There's also a layer between the outsole and the insole. It is the midsole for shock absorption. The rear part at the bottom of a shoe is the heel. The upper part of a shoe that helps in holding the shoe onto the foot is the vamp or the upper. Shoe has other parts too, such as lining, tongue, quarter, welt and backstay.
Shoes were originally a handicraft that was adopted as a profession by many. However, nowadays, shoe making is a large industry which works with specialized footwear making machines. A footwear company has four departments in which a progressive route is followed for making shoes. These are- Clicking or Cutting Department; Closing or Machining Department; Lasting & Making Department; and Finishing Department & the Shoe Room.
In the Clicking or Cutting Department, the upper part of the shoe is made by cutting leather in perfect shape. In the Closing or Machining Department, the component pieces are sewn together to produce the completed upper. Both these works are conducted by highly skilled workers and machines. In the Lasting & Making Department, the completed uppers are molded into a shape of foot with the help of a “Last” which is a plastic shape that simulates the foot shape. A strip of leather or plastic called welt is sewn onto the shoe. The upper and all the surplus material is trimmed off the seam. The sole is stitched together with the welt. The heel is then attached which completes the “making” of the shoe. In finishing department, shoes are given an attractive finish by staining, polishing and waxing. In the shoe room, an internal sock, having the manufacturers details or a brand name is fitted into shoe.
Shoes are made for each and every size of feet. If you go by the sizing guidelines sizing guidelines you can find that perfect shoe which you'll feel has been made just for you!